Green Grape Juice Of The Earth
Verjus, or sometimes spelled Verjuice comes from Old French “jus verte” or green juice. Green was not a denotation of color but rather a reference to young fruit that still maintained high acidity while harvested underripe. In the Middle Ages (500 A.D. – 1400 A.D.) verjus was often used to enhance flavors in stews, condiments and sauces. Most modern cooks now use lemon or lime for lively tartness. Interestingly lemon trees were not introduced to Northern Europe until 1000 A.D. when the Mores brought lemons to Sicily. By the end of the 15th century we see the first cultivated lemon orchard in Genoa, and it was “downhill” for verjus. Lemons, being perfectly portable little darlings usurped the quotidian use of verjus, which is unfortunate because verjus has a few distinct qualities that for certain functions far exceed the tartiness of a lemon.
Verjus is not quite as acidic as a lemon (see Chart A. below) and offers a wider range of flavors that can complement beverages and dishes without overwhelming. And because verjus’ type of acidity is tartaric as opposed to citric in lemons, it has an inherent balance to wine and food that citric acids typically overwhelm. Cocktails with verjus have the pleasing uplift that acid from lemons or limes offer and typically create more aromatic complexity and subtlety. We have a few of our favorites from our test kitchen below for winter cocktails.
Chart A. pH 0-14 (7 neutral measurement between acid and alkaline)
Lemon pH 2.2-2.4
Bonny Doon Verjus de Cigare 2.92
Milk pH approximately 6.7
Average red wine will range between 3.65-3.8 pH
More info from the vineyard: https://www.bonnydoonvineyard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SellSheet_VER14C.pdf